I believe in miracles.
It’s easy for me to believe in them. It’s hard to talk to people about them and explain why and how they happen. However, after reading Miracles: What they are, why they happen, and how they can change your life by Eric Metaxas, I feel more confident about how to talk about them because he explores both the personal side of miracles, but also the theological and scientific side. I volunteered to read this book as part of the launch team. In return for getting an advanced copy for free, I was asked to highlight what stuck out to me and write a review.
I enjoyed reading this book and got through it rather quickly. The first half was a slower read as Metaxas takes the time to define and explain the “science” of miracles. The second half tells personal miracle stories from people the author knows. He chose to do this because he could vouch for the credibility of the people telling the stories. Most of these stories are gripping.
Metaxas starts by defining what a miracle is and then sets out to give evidence that miracles are real and that they are performed by a real God.
A miracle may be best defined by an event “when God pokes into our world” to communicate with us.
Miracles can be big with a message for many or small with a message for one. They can happen through signs, events, sights, feelings, actions, people or visions.
The personal stories are told by an associate news producer who at one point became almost homeless due to severe allergies and was cured, an actress who had an abortion and received emotional healing and forgiveness (even getting a glimpse of her daughter), and a father and son who both went through an emotional experience singing the same three hymns though they were on different continents.
The personal stories are as amazing as the scientific miracles.
If miracles aren’t real, how do you explain the miraculous odds that this planet exists and we are living on it? (Chapters 3, 4 and 5)
If miracles are real, how do you explain how some of the most awful people in this world can change? (Chapter 9)
If God set this world into motion, why can’t He reach out and touch our world and show us His love? (Chapter 8)
“Marveling at this is not inappropriate.”
I learned that there are incredible odds against life existing on this planet. I can support my belief in miracles with the facts of the universe. There are so many factors that have to line up just perfectly that it is amazing and unexplainable.
I learned to define what a miracle is and why I believe they exist.
My mother’s life is a miracle in that a neighbor lady felt God telling her to take this little child to church with her where my mother met a woman who would take her from a home filled with drugs, alcohol and violence to a home filled with Christ and love. At another point in her life, an angel, perhaps, saved her from a runaway inner tube in a river. A man pulled her to shore and then disappeared. God saved my mother’s life.
My husband had a teacher in school who was miraculously cured of Multiple Sclerosis (MS) – an unexplained healing: (Read her story here.)
I’ve heard of missionaries who have received an anonymous envelope in the mail with the exact amount for their month’s rent or doctor’s bill when they had no more money. Or they had a bag of groceries show up the day they ran out of food. God was taking care of their basic needs.
I would recommend this book to anyone who has an interest in miracles. If you already believe in miracles, or have experienced a miracle, you will walk away with the confidence to explain the faith and science behind them. If you are a skeptic of miracles, this book will give you the chance to hear a well-thought-out defense of their existence. If you’re looking for a book of just people sharing their miracle stories, this is not that book. This book explores the topic in-depth and requires attention and thought.
Whether you do or not believe in miracles, this book is worth your time. You will either walk away still a skeptic or you will be convinced that miracles are real and will be able to talk about them to other people.
This book has book club potential. There are no group discussion questions right now. However, having a group of people to talk through the ideas presented in the book could be very helpful.
For more information …
The author’s Web site is www.ericmetaxas.com.
There is also a Facebook page at https://www.facebook.com/eric.metaxas and a Twitter account for the book (@Miraclesthebook) and for the author (@EricMetaxas).